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Need help with Miquon blue book


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My kindergartener has completed until C level chapter in Miquon blue book. The next chapter deals with subtracting big numbers using number lines like 100-65, 95-36 etc. We both are finding this chapter quite challenging and are stuck here for several months. He finds it difficult to conceptualize the number line with small numbers when the number line itself is spaced in 10 units.


I am definitely in no hurry but would like to know if there are other fun methods to teach this concept. Is it necessary to use number line for problems like 95-36 or is it ok just to use cuisenaire rods and proceed further?

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One of the nice things about Miquon is that you can move to another topic and then come back. And it will cover it again. And I think you can move on.


It might mean though that you would get more from waiting. I know some K'ers can go all the way through Miquon, but the original intention of the books was that Blue be a second grade book. You might start to hit a wall and put Miquon on hold and do other stuff for math then come back to it. Or not - I think it depends on the kid.

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I agree with Farrar -- you have a few options, and your decision will really depend on your student. If you have a math-hungry student who needs more, then you could work on other topics to feed his math love. It's very easy to do that with Miquon by moving ahead in threads or moving on to other threads.


Or you could stick with this topic, but come at it from different angles like you suggested (using the c-rods). I found that my K-er faced a similar level of frustration with the number line, but when we used the 100s chart it started to make more sense. So you could build a 100s chart together, talk about the patterns he observes, and then look at how subtraction works with it compared with how subtraction works with the c-rods & flats. I found it was helpful to continually reinforce the connection between the c-rods and the number line / 100s chart.


Or you could decide that this is a topic that your son isn't developmentally ready for, and you will be better approaching it later on. In that case, you could revisit earlier topics. Miquon is nice in that it encourages you and your child to make your own activity sheets. You could do that with earlier topics, or play fun math games together. Another way to revisit earlier topics is to move to a different program (MEP is nice in that it's free and approaches math from an equally strong, but very different, angle.)


FWIW, with my K-er, when we hit a wall I spend a day or two to see if it is a challenge that she will enjoy or if it's indeed something she's not developmentally ready for. If it's the latter, I move to another program as the main spine, and then come back when we're ready to explore further. When any sort of frustration arises, we back right off and do something completely different for a few days -- games, puzzles, a different program.

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I like the Singapore style of dealing with these sort of problems using number-bonds re-growing stratagies. These are easy (and effective) to introduce using C Rods and base-10 flats.


If you have 100-65, 100 (a "flat") is the same value as 10-Ten Rods.


To subtract 6-Ten Rods and 1-Five Rod from 10-Ten Rods you first regroup the 10-ten Rods into 9-Ten Rods and 1-Ten Rod for the minuend.


The subtrahend is regrouped into 6-Ten Rods and 1-Five Rod.


If you subtract 3-Ten Rods from 9-Ten Rods you have 6-Ten Rods. 1-Five Rod subtracted from 1-Ten Rod leaves a difference of 1-Five Rod.


So you have 3-Ten Rods and 1-Five Rod=35




Then "check" using C Rods 65+35=100.


It is a bit of a "process" to go through at the outset, but becomes an extremely efficient way of doing mental math as the re-grouping become second nature.




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